Four new engineering projects that will help the UK to develop new lightweight materials, design products to have a longer life and be more easily recyclable, and clean contaminated land to reclaim valuable metals, were announced today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
How to address the UK's limited resources and high material dependency are pressing questions for the country and engineering researchers and scientists.
In July 2012 EPSRC brought together academics from a number of disciplines to take part in a collaborative, five-day event known as a 'sandpit'. They looked at these resource challenges and came up with some exciting, innovative, research projects that could develop long-term sustainable solutions.
Professor David Delpy, EPSRC's Chief Executive said: "Finding answers to complex problems such as how to manage our resources efficiently and sustainably requires creative and considered thinking and a willingness to explore ideas with others. That is exactly the sort of environment and ethos our engineering sandpits provide and promote. The resulting research projects are both exciting and have great potential for long term benefit."
The projects that came out of the event, MORE WITH LESS: Engineering solutions for resource efficiency', were awarded just over 5 million, will be run from four universities Bath, Birmingham, Loughborough and Warwick and involve academics from a total of twelve institutions.
The projects are:
CLEVER - Closed Loop Emotionally Valuable E-waste Recovery which will look at how materials and product service systems for portable electronic devices can be developed to optimise recovery and reuse of components. It is driven by the need to address the negative global environmental consequences of the current "throw-away" approach to consumer electronics and their components. These devices are replaced at a rapid rate, but recycling of components is still the ex
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Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council